The list of reasons for a decreased appetite in dogs is long. Although a reduced desire to eat doesn’t necessarily indicate a serious problem, prompt veterinary attention is important if their eating habits drastically change.
If your dog stops eating, you should:
- Contact your vet if you notice your dog’s eating habits change, especially if they haven’t eaten anything for 24 hours
- Ensure food and water bowls are clean
- Give your pup plenty of attention and care
- Use a chicken broth or gravy to enhance the flavour and texture
- Buy better quality foods. They may have gone off the food they are currently eating
- Don’t get annoyed at your dog. Stay calm and show them love
Why has my dog stopped eating?
Are you wondering why your dog has stopped eating? Take a look at the reasons below, plus how you can help them.
1. Being overfed
Your dog may stop eating because they are already full. While it can be hard to control a dog’s diet if they are gobbling up your leftovers, there are many short and long term risks if your pet is eating more than they should be.
“Sometimes, without being aware, we overfeed our beloved pooches,” Tails.com tell Yorkshire Live. “Giving dogs too many treats or meals per day is surprisingly easy to do, especially when there are multiple people living in the home. Try keeping a diet calendar to monitor when and how many times a day your dog is being fed and receiving treats.”
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2. Separation anxietySeparation anxiety is another common cause of poor appetite in dogs, especially if they are left alone for long periods of time. Anxiety, stress, or fear can cause decreased appetite in some dogs, just like it can in people, so head to your local vet if you are unsure what steps to take.
3. Physical illness
Your dog may stop eating if they are hurting somewhere. According to the PDSA, this could include infections, high temperatures, tooth and gum disease, lung or heart disease, gut problems, and hormonal diseases.
“If you have reason to believe your pooch has a physical illness, contact your vet to help identify the condition,” say Tails.com. “Dental health is also an impact factor to monitor. If your pet’s teeth or gums are in pain, then eating will feel uncomfortable for them.”
4. Change in food preferences
Some dogs will earn themselves a reputation as being fussy eaters and can go through periods of not being very interested in their food. Much like humans, our furry friends can also dislike certain food types.
The PDSA add: “Some fussy dogs may refuse to eat because they don’t like their food. Frequent diet changes or feeding human foods can upset your dog’s stomach.”
“There are many medications that can cause appetite loss,” say Tails.com. “If your pet has just had surgery, it can affect their interest in food is a normal reaction to anaesthesia. However, if your dog hasn’t returned to its normal eating habits after a couple of days, contact your vet.”
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